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KNICKS NEW COACH? Thibs emerges as the main candidate

Tom-Thibodeau

It’s hard to make significant decisions in a time of such uncertainty, but crises are often the best time to do it. We saw the Bulls bring in Arturas Karnisovas for a fresh start, and rumors are the Knicks coaching job could be next in line for a major decision. 

Mike Miller has been the interim head coach of the Knicks since David Fizdale left New York, and did a better job than most expected. But it was always clear he is far from a permanent gig, especially when the Knicks brought in Leon Rose to be the President of the team. Even coaches with better records and more pedigree expect to be fired when new management comes to town. Rose had enough time to scan the coaching market and create a shortlist for the Knicks bench. 

“For what it’s worth, several coaches and people with a vested interest in Leon Rose’s first coaching hire believe it will ultimately be Thibodeau—if he doesn’t retain Mike Miller.”

Ian Begley, SNY

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When Leon Rose started his basketball representation business at CAA, Thibs was one of their first significant clients. Connections like these can never be undervalued when personal decision are being made. Since his departure from Minessota, Thibs was making the rounds trying to prove he’s evolved in his coaching ways and embracing analytics. He was at the MIT Sloan conference, the place all coaches go to show they modernized. 

If this sounds familiar, it’s because we heard the same story after he left the Bulls. Thibodeau visited teams like the Warriors, talked the evolution in his approach to basketball and then had practice on game day and played his players into the ground. Seriously, Jimmy Butler complained about his minutes. As Paul Pierce and Brian Windhorst said on The Jump, it’s hard to teach old dog new tricks, and Thibs is definitely not changing. 

His coaching style may work for a championship-caliber team with veteran leadership in the locker room. The Knicks are the complete opposite and need someone who can connect with young players and develop a functional relationship with them. Minnesota showed us that’s not Thibodeau’s strong suit

“Yelling and screaming isn’t necessarily coaching”

Andrew Wiggins, BN

If the Knicks want to find someone who developed a young team that played modern basketball, all they need to do is take a cab to Brooklyn. Kenny Atkinson is available. 

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